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Data-Driven Formatting

February 2, 2022

Static data format masks, used to format values in analytics) is a standard feature in most BI applications. However, data-driven formats, which change formats per value item, are anything but standard. Pyramid provides data-driven formatting using labels like currency and numeric units. This is a critical capability when the same metric has values with different units or currencies being embedded in a single column of data.

In most application designs, space limitations or aesthetic considerations require the units, currencies, or both (e.g., USD and EUR) to be included in the same column as the measure column. Reporting on multiple units and currencies in most BI tools usually requires separate columns to be displayed for the units or currencies in addition to the measure column—and can typically only support the static format mask approach. Alternatively, a separate hierarchy is needed to provide context to the numbers to show what currencies or units may be applicable to the set of figures. The better approach is to format the data with the right labels from the data itself—making it more intuitive for users and generally much more foolproof.

Pyramid provides built-in capabilities to set both prefix and suffix label formatting for measures, allowing users the option to set data-driven currency and unit data formatting in Pyramid’s Model toolset. This enables the visualizations to seamlessly display currency and/or unit data in all reports and visualizations.

Example

This report displays sales of dried fruit and nuts per unit and currency. For easier readability and better design, the units and unit type must be displayed in a single column, and the currency and amount should also be displayed in a single column.


In the model tool users can select the currency as the prefix column for the amount measure, and the unit type as the suffix for the units measure.


The resulting report now neatly incorporates the combined prefix and suffix for the disparate measures, providing a more elegant, ergonomic report.

Summary

Currencies and numeric units are a critical element in data analysis. Too often, they are not incorporated in an intuitive, easy-to-use manner within BI tools. Pyramid’s data-driven numeric formatting allows data values to be formatted fully, using either static format masks or those driven from inside the dataset itself.

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